Content, Channel markets, Channel partner programs, Channel partners, Enterprise

Avaya Emerges From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; Partner Focus Intact

Gary Levy
Gary Levy
Jim Chirico

Avaya has completed its debt restructuring, and emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today with a channel-friendly focus intact. Through the process, Avaya reduced its debt load by roughly $3 billion, and the company's annual cash flow will improve by roughly $300 million compared to fiscal 2016, CEO Jim Chirico said in a prepared statement.

Chirico succeeded former CEO Kevin Kennedy in October 2017. Amid the executive transition, Avaya maintained R&D, a channel-friendly focus and a push toward OpEx options for partners and csutomers. "We're well positioned to executive on our growth strategy," Gary Levy, VP of U.S. channels, tells ChannelE2E.

Indeed, Avaya has signed more than 4,000 major customer contracts, recruited 1,000 new partners and invested more than $225 million in R&D since the bankruptcy filing roughly 11 months ago, Levy estimates. Moreover, Avaya now has more  than 6,300 partners and 130,000 customers across the small, midsize and enterprise business segments. 

Avaya Partner Program, Revenues

On the partner program front, Avaya has continued to fine-tune its efforts -- enabling partners to more easily deliver unified communications and contact center applications as a cloud-based service (UCaaS, CCaaS) to business customers, the company says. A key part of the 2018 Avaya Edge program strategy involves enabling cloud delivery, integration and management, the company said in November 2017.

The program also offers three types of market-differentiating specializations to traditional partners and distributors transitioning from largely CAPEX or premises-based models to OPEX and cloud: Cloud Specialist, Avaya Delivery Partner or Cloud Wholesaler, the November announcement pointed out.

Generally speaking, Avaya's overall revenues slipped a bit during the bankruptcy journey -- but the business did not crater. Also, the company sold off its networking business in July 2017. Among the positive signs: The company has generated positive EBITDA -- including an estimated $225 million to $230 million in EBITDA for Q4 2017, the company said in October.

Avaya Engage 2018 Conference

Next up, Avaya is taking the steps necessary to list on the New York Stock Exchange. Also, the company will rally partners and customers at Avaya Engage 2018, a major conference set for late January in New Orleans.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.